Research Technician Fellowship

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Are you an undergraduate or high school student over the age of 16 interested in experiencing scientific research and tree science?

Are you excited to learn new skills while getting paid?

Are you worried about applying because you don’t have any experience?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, this introductory internship is for you. Undergraduate and high school students over the age of 16, with little or no experience, are invited to participate in ongoing research at The Morton Arboretum, be mentored by our scientists, and see what it’s like to join a scientific research group. Experience careers that explore solutions for climate change, biodiversity, natural resources management, and urban life. Laboratory, computer, and outdoor field opportunities available.

Apply Today

To apply, individuals will complete the online application form; a resume and cover letter are not required. A brief true/false survey will be sent immediately to confirm interest, followed within one week by a required questionnaire to determine project interest and allow applicants to provide additional details.

Learn More

The Center for Tree Science’s Integrated Mentorship Program is committed to supporting students and professionals at every stage in their careers. As the Arboretum continues to grow a diverse and inclusive program, flexible work assignments and additional assistance may be available.

Individuals from schools and universities with limited research opportunities, groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM programs, first- and second-year undergraduates, persons with disabilities, and veterans currently enrolled in an undergraduate program are encouraged to apply.

Please contact with any questions or to be notified when applications open for the next Research Technician Fellowship opportunity.

Project Descriptions

Summer 2024

New Plant Development Program (part-time)

Translational genomics links genomic knowledge to improving crops. Gene editing speeds up breeding by adding desired traits or removing unwanted ones. However, delivering gene editing tools to crops depends on their ability to transform and regenerate, which varies among species and genotypes. This limits the commercialization of gene-edited crops due to concerns about GMO acceptance. The specialty crops under study in this project include Acer spp., Fraxinus spp., Ulmus spp., Magnolia spp., and others, ensuring our findings will be transferable to a broader range of woody plant species. Success in this research and other ongoing efforts will contribute significantly to crop improvement and urban forest sustainability.

The student will participate in a mutation breeding project utilizing clonal germplasm from living collections. This is a tissue culture-intensive project focused on understanding the characteristics, both phenotypic and genotypic, in a germplasm development project. The student will learn about in vitro cultivation techniques for woody plant species. Activities will include the development of tissue culture media compositions suitable for experimentation in regeneration experiments. The student will obtain broad training in in vitro plant propagation (a.k.a. micropropagation) while serving as an active member of the New Plant Development Program lab. While prior knowledge of plant biology and anatomy is preferred, it is not mandatory, as the techniques can be learned on the job. Candidates should be comfortable with basic chemistry and making solutions from a plan of work, and be open to new experiences and training.